Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Marketing, Cigars and Bacon - Growing Your Business in 2014

My wife and I were very excited to enjoy a low-key New Year's Eve with another couple.  We stayed in and enjoyed some delicious home-cooked food...taking in enough calories to make competitive eaters bow their heads in shame.

Shortly before the ball dropped, while the ladies chatted inside, my friend and I enjoyed a couple of nice cigars and single malt scotches outside - a rare treat for us.

Naturally the conversation turned to New Year's Resolutions.  We decided we'd both be eating MUCH better in 2014...and after the ball dropped, he was going to quit smoking.  (Outside of the rare cigar - I've never been a smoker.  Forget the health impact - those things are FAR too expensive).

We went inside feeling good...looking forward to achieving our goals.

Flash forward.  9:30am this morning, we enjoyed some homemade sandwiches stuffed with cheddar, Canadian bacon, BACON bacon, maple syrup, eggs, and the greasy and delicious taste of defeat.  We washed them down with mimosas and bacon-chocolate chip cookies...then he went outside and had a smoke.

Here's my point - whether it's a resolution to lose weight, quit smoking, save money or any other countless's wildly difficult to stick with it many times.

And as business owners, you have the same challenges.

Other marketing firms will tell business owners what New Year's Resolutions they should make.  But as I sit here after consuming the equivalent of a pig farm for breakfast, I'm instead going to offer you a few different starting points to help you expand your marketing this year.

1.  Social media - It's incredibly easy to get totally overwhelmed about social media.  Countless small businesses will start the year strong....posting minute-by-minute updates on Facebook and Twitter, only to burn out two weeks in and forget about it.  Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter...and so many others...where do you begin?  With your CUSTOMERS.  Find out where they are...and instead of trying to be EVERYWHERE...just be somewhere.  And be GOOD at it.

2.  Email Marketing - You can debate the statistics and merits of email newsletters all day, but the bottom line is this - it's inexpensive and it's a GREAT way of staying in front of your customers.

3.  Video - It's 2014.  If you're not using video to promote your business, you're missing a HUGE opportunity.  Let's break this down simply - Google owns YouTube.  YouTube hosts your videos.  Your videos are about your business.  Harness the power of video to talk to your customers or potential customers in a whole new way and watch your business grow.  Check out a little video about how we roll by clicking here.

4.  Your website - More people will most likely visit your website than will ever visit your store.  Let's try and convert those people to sales.  Is your website user experience as strong as it could be?  Try mystery shopping both your website and your location and see what kind of honest feedback comes in.  You might be surprised.  

5.  Blogging - It's free.  And it puts you in front of entirely new audiences.  Think nobody reads them?  That theory kind of goes out the window...considering you're reading this!  

Don't try and do EVERYTHING...but try and do SOMETHING.  These are a few of the services that The Silent Partner Marketingoffers - but we're always happy to offer advice.  Follow our blog throughout the year for more tips and tricks...or feel free to check out our website by clicking here.

Happy New Year!